Monday, March 23, 2009

Who Is This Guy?

So just who is He? Who is this peculiar figure around whom we Christians build our entire worldview, and in whose name we make such intense claims?

Among those who respect him, there are many who view him as a teacher of wisdom, a sage, a rabbi. Certainly, there were many times he was called rabbi (for example-Mark 9:5; John 3:2), and he did fulfill many of the roles of a rabbinic teacher. But delimiting his function to that alone just makes him one among a thousand other voices of wisdom. If we take that route, eventually, we end up Unitarian. Which, as we've all been told, is just half a notch on the dial away from becoming a Wiccan, or worse yet, a...Democrat. And we all know what awaits Democrats in the afterlife. Shudder.

There's also the "he's a prophet" meme, which I think also has some merit. This, however, only points you towards who he is if you understand what a prophet actually is. Prophets aren't primarily soothsayers, or prognosticators of future events. Neither are they only folks who make a clarion call for justice for the oppressed...although they certainly do that, too. Understood in a biblical sense, they are individuals who act as conduits for God. They don't just tell us about God, but are instead so filled with God that their voice ceases to be entirely their own.

This gets us closer, but it's still not quite it. Of all of the Gospels, which focuses most intently on who Jesus was?